Capital One Auto Loans

Is Cap One
The One For You?

Capital One auto loans are, quite frankly, some of the most difficult loans to figure. Their computer scoring system either likes what it sees or it doesn't.

If you don't meet certain requirements, then it may be best to save yourself the credit inquiry. On the other hand, if you do meet their minimum requirements, they could very well be your best approval.

Capital One Auto Finance had recently gotten out of the prime lending business and were not loaning money for auto loans to A+, A, and B tier credit customers.

Apparently their losses far exceeded their gains for these credit tiers and they backed off for nearly 6 months. Well, guess what?...They're Back!!! But only at participating dealerships. Again, a bit confusing!

Here's what's below
about Capital One Auto Finance:

****Disclaimer**** The following sections are based on my dealership experience securing Capital One auto loans for customers and may not accurately reflect what you as a direct consumer may experience.

I am not affiliated with Capital One and do not get paid to refer customers to their site. I also do not hold a grudge against Capital One and did not build this page to discourage anyone from using their services.

I assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the information on this page and it should be used for general informational purposes only. Please contact them directly for specific details. *****

To compare auto lenders rates visit: Current Auto Loan Rates

Capital One
Auto Loans Credit Criteria

Capital One Auto Finance has a great full spectrum lending program and, once again, now loan to A+, A, B, C and upper level D tier credit customers.

That being said, I just recently learned that Cap One is no longer offering their prime program to dealers and only financing for lower level B tier to upper level D tier credit is applicable to car dealership financing.

One minute they are there and the next minute they're not...Now you see it now you don't!

As I mentioned before,
Capital One auto loans are a little tricky.

Customers that fit within one of those credit tiers will need a minimum credit score of 520.

Capital One Auto Finance as eight credit tier levels:

  • Tier 1 = 730+ credit scores
  • Tier 2 = 660 - 729 credit scores
  • Tier 3 = 660 - 729 credit scores
  • Tier 4 = 660 - 729 credit scores
  • Tiers 5-8 = 520 - 659 credit scores

As I mentioned (multiple times) before, their auto loan program is a bit confusing and hard to narrow down. They have a computer scoring system that rates each customers credit file, residence stability, work history, etc. that determines what tier they will fit into.

It's actually kind of funny, I can talk to one of their credit analysts and oftentimes they won't even know why a deal was declined or approved.

Typically, to get an approval, a customer would have to have five prior or current lines of credit that were fairly well paid. It appears now that a longer credit history is important to Cap One and a seven year history is preferred.

Sometimes just credit cards and a decent pay history will do it, but often times it seems they like to see installment loan credit, like previous auto loan or home loan, especially if you do not have a seven year history.

They will approve deals (will vary from customer to customer) with prior collection accounts, chargeoffs, bankruptcies, etc. They'll even approve customers (again varies) with prior Cap One collections and charge offs.

They also have a very fast decision process and you should, barring any unforeseen circumstances, receive an answer within 60 seconds.

Capital One
Auto Loans Structures

Cap One has, as with most all other auto lenders, tightened up a bit and it now seems that the max front end advance they allow is in the 110% range, plus:

  • Tax
  • Title
  • License
  • Approved back end products, i.e. vehicle extended warranty, GAP insurance, Credit Life and Disability insurance.

The 110% is the advance based on a new cars invoice, Kelley blue book wholesale or NADA wholesale, if used.

An example, if a vehicle had a $10,000 wholesale blue book value, then Cap One would be willing to loan $11,000 (110%), plus the extras from above.

It appears that they are limiting the total loan to value (or the Out The Door amount), including TT&L and back end products to 120%. This is for the better tier credit customers.

This is a tougher and more limited (used to do 145%) structure than they used to offer and can make it hard to do a no money down loan.

This is especially true if there is any negative equity (from a trade in) to be rolled into the new loan.

Cap One is also limiting some of their advances on select vehicles like trucks and SUV's. So be prepared to put some money down.

They have a max finance term of 72 months and the length of term will be determined more by the mileage of the vehicle then the amount financed or the age of the vehicle.

Other restrictions may apply, i.e. advance %, overall credit history, etc.

Capital One auto loans and approvals for them seem to come easier for customers with larger down payments.

Larger down payments must represent to their scoring system a lower likelihood of repossession and in the event of a repossession it means Cap One will not suffer as big a loss.

Bigger is definitely better
when it comes Capital One auto loan approvals!

As with most auto lenders, Cap One provides additional discounts that range from .15% to .50% and these may vary by state. These discounts can apply for:

  • .50% discount (when applying direct) for automatic payments with Cap One's banking system.

  • .25% Equity discounts, front end advance less than 90% of invoice or wholesale book.

  • .15% Luxury loan discount, applies if financing over $30,000.

  • Shorter term financing, like 60 months or less.

Capital One
Auto Loans Guidelines

Vehicles That Do Not Qualify

  • No Motorcycles.
  • No RV's.
  • No private party purchases. (see summary below)
  • No lease buyouts. (see summary below)
  • No commercial vehicles.
  • No vehicles for business use.
  • No conversion, delivery, gray market, or lemon law vehicles.
  • No salvaged, rebuilt, or branded title vehicles.
  • No Isuzu or Daewoo vehicles.
  • Your approval, Blank Check, can't be used with independent dealers.

General conditions

  • Must finance more than $4,000 for tiers 1-3 and minimum of $7,500 for tiers 4-8.
  • Max amount financed is $50,000.
  • It appears they are limiting their loan to value to 120%.
  • Payment to gross monthly income ratio less than 20%.
  • Must have gross monthly income of $1,500 or greater for all tier 1-5 and $1,800 a month for tiers 6-8.
  • No vehicles over 120,000 miles through the dealer and 70,000 if applying direct.
  • Vehicles must be 10 years old or newer. 7 years old or newer if you are applying direct.

How To Get The Best
Capital One Auto Loan Rates


Check your credit report and credit score to ensure that you will qualify for their better credit tier rates. If you find that your score could use a little boost, then pay down some credit card accounts or payoff some collection accounts to give your score a lift.

The Fast, Easy Way to see all 3 Credit Scores FREE, with all 3 Credit Reports for only $1 with Enrollment in!


Negotiate a good deal and put 20% or more down. That way you will more than likely qualify for their .25% equity discount.


Finance for the shortest term you can comfortably afford. This not only helps you get to a more equitable position faster, but will also get you a nice discount on your finance rate. These discounts will fall in the .25% to .50% range.

Capital One
Auto Loans Summary

All in all, Capital One Auto Finance offers some excellent rates and terms for new and used vehicles. You can feel confident in knowing that you are getting a very competitive rate, especially if you are able to get rates in the mid 4% to low 5% range.

You can access the Cap One website here. Don't forget to bookmark this site so that after you get your approval you can learn some very valuable time and money saving car buying tips.

Rates for Capital One auto loans aren't bad for used vehicles, but with good credit you may be able to do better. Check out my Bank Auto Loan Rates page to compare auto lenders rates.

Many lenders are hopping on the "green" car bandwagon and are offering additional discounts for buying hybrid cars. I have not seen anything yet from Cap One, but it's something you may want to inquire about.

If you'd like to learn more about alternative fuel cars - technology and tax credits, then take a look at new hybrid automobiles.

There are no Capital One auto loans for private party and/or lease buyouts, so you will have to look elsewhere; however, they do offer auto loan refinancing with competitive rates.

Capital One
Customer Service and Payoffs

If you're looking for some quick contact information, here you go:

Capital One Customer Service and Payoffs


Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET

24 hour automated help

New and Used Auto Loan Applications


Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET


10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET

Capital One Auto Loan Refinancing Applications


Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET


10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET

Mail Payments To:

Capital One Auto Finance

PO Box 93016

Long Beach, CA 90809-3016

Overnight Payments To:

Capital One Auto Finance

Attn: Payment Processing

3905 North Dallas Parkway

Plano, TX 75093

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